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SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 20th MEETING
Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Thursday, 30 March 2000, at 6 p.m.
Chairman: Mr. SIMKHADA (Nepal)
2. It was so agreed.
3. Mr. NASR (Observer for Lebanon) said that, despite Security Council resolution 425 (1978), grave violations of human rights were still being committed by Israel in southern Lebanon and the Bihar valley. Repeated bombing raids and a maritime blockade were destroying the infrastructure of the region and inflicting grave hardship on children and elderly people. The Israeli claim that its occupation and military action were directed against Lebanese forces was without foundation. The resistance offered to Israeli troops was a consequence of the occupation of Lebanese territory and in accordance with the internationally recognized right of resistance. Only if Israel applied Security Council resolution 425 (1978) could a just and lasting peace be achieved. Currently, however, when Israeli officials spoke of a withdrawal from the occupied areas, they did not refer to a withdrawal to international boundaries and seemed rather to be merely referring to a redeployment of Israeli forces. The detention camps maintained by Israel, in which detainees were deprived of health services and suffered from malnutrition and torture, were an insult to mankind at the outset of the twenty-first century. Israel’s indifference to the strictures of the international community called for the application of pressure to obtain the release of all Lebanese prisoners, many of whom were being held, against all international principles, as bargaining chips in negotiations.
19. Mr. NSEIR (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said that Israel’s continued occupation of southern Lebanon and the Western Bihar in flagrant violation of the principles of international law, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Security Council resolution 425 (1978), was accompanied by daily bombing that deliberately targeted schools, clinics and essential parts of the infrastructure of Lebanon. The result had been the death and injury of many innocent civilians, the displacement of thousands of families and the destruction of homes and property. His delegation urged the Commission to condemn such practices and to call on Israel to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit detainees and to allow access to them by their families. All Israel’s claims to seek peace were spurious and belied by its actions on the ground. If it was sincere, it would have to withdraw completely from South Lebanon, the Western Bihar and the Syrian Golan.
20. His delegation expressed its regret that the statement made on behalf of the European Union should have quoted stale allegations of human rights violations in Syria, that had been often rebutted.